25 mobile Triveni stores of Consumerfed launched
Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs K.V. Thomas has said that surplus foodgrains have been procured by the Centre. Over 71 million tonnes of foodgrains are in stock against the requirement of 50 million tonnes. The government is releasing 70 lakh tonnes of foodgrains into the open market with a view to ensuring adequate supply. Stringent action under Essential Commodities Act would be initiated against anyone indulging in hoarding and the Centre would support all measures being taken by the State to curb black marketing, he said.
Launching 25 mobile Triveni stores of Consumerfed here on Saturday, the Minister said the Centre has procured over 71 million lakh tonnes of foodgrains, about 21 million tonnes in excess of demand. The government will procure 40 million tonnes of rice as buffer stock. The Union government was providing a subsidy of Rs.17 per kg for the rice being distributed through the public distribution system. The Central subsidy on foodgrains amounted to Rs.99,000 crore per annum.
Mr. Thomas said the Centre had decided to provide a subsidy of Rs.20 per kg for pulses and Rs.15 per litre on edible oils. The State has been asked to suggest the mode of distribution for the supply of these subsidised commodities. He said a central team of officials will visit FCI godowns within a fortnight to assess the quality of foodgrains being supplied. A meeting of State food ministers, to be held in New Delhi, would discuss issues pertaining to food distribution on October 29 and 30.
He said the Consumerfed would be given assistance for purchasing a refrigerated van, under a pilot project. Aid would be given to take up distribution of essential items in rural areas.
C.N. Balakrishnan, Minister for Cooperation, said the Consumerfed operated over 600 outlets in the State during the Onam season, recording sales of Rs.220 crore, but incurring a loss of over Rs.80 crore because of reduced pricing. Consumerfed was planning to launch Triveni mobile stores in all the Assembly constituencies, he said.
Riji G. Nair, Managing Director, Consumerfed; Tony Chammany, Mayor, Kochi Corporation; Pankaj Agrawala, Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs; Manoj Parida, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs; N. Venugopal, Chairman, GCDA; Eldhose Kunnappilly, president, Ernakulam district panchayat, were among those present at the function.